Washington has been consumed with a protracted and distracting debate that tied the need to raise the Nation's debt limit to budget cuts. All reasonable people know that default was not an option. The failure of the country to pay its bills would have a catastrophic effect on the economy and on the lives of all Americans for years to come. This was a debate we shouldn't have been having. Every day and every hour that was spent in this battle was time that wasn't devoted to job creation or economic growth.
I voted against the deal that was made to end the crisis that paralyzed Congress and threatened the economy. A default had to be avoided, but this was not the best way to do it. First and foremost, the plan does nothing to create a single job and does nothing to aid the ailing economy. In fact, it could cause both immediate and long-term harm to the country's economic well being and to our ability to pursue economic opportunities.
In addition, I believe the deal will put vital programs and services at risk of harmful cuts. Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid could be put on the chopping block, along with an array of government services that are needed now more than ever. With a depressed economy making it hard for people to make ends meet, we should not be cutting college loans, unemployment funding, child care, housing or health care.